SIA makes U-turn on its plan to charge credit card fees for flights

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced in a sale circular that after further review it has decided to cancel the plan to charge credit card fees for flights departing from Singapore booked under certain classes.

The circular was announced soon after the company received backlash from members of the public regarding the implementation of the credit card fees.

The sales circular issued by Singapore Airlines to its business partners on 4 January (Source: Channel NewsAsia).

Earlier this week, SIA stated on its website that starting from 20 January 2018, it would apply 1.3 percent of the total amount to tickets issued under the airline’s soon-to-be-launched Economy Lite category, capped at S$50.

Amid a review of its business operations, economy Lite is the lowest of three new economy-class fares types the airline announced in December 2017.

Advance seat selection in economy class is currently free. It will start at US$5 (S$6.65) per flight segment for those booked on Economy Lite fares from 20 January.

It explained that it incurs “costs relating to the acceptance of credit cards” when customers choose that mode of payment.

However, netizens echo negative sentiments against the move, with some voicing that such charging practices go against the push by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to go cashless.

Aaron Wong wrote in his website, The MileLion about the would-be-implemented changes on 3 Jan, “This is a money grab move by SQ, pure and simple. And for an airline that wants to position itself as a cut above the rest, it’s shameful that they’d dig from the bottom of the barrel when it comes to such policies.” and noted that only the budget airlines levy  credit card surcharges in Singapore.

Wong’s post garnered over 2,000 shares and was widely discussed by netizens.

He noted in his updates that prior to the decision to not charge credit fees, SIA wrote in its FAQ that the credit card fee would be applied to the all inclusive fare for “certain fare types”, which was then changed to “explicitly for Economy Lite”.

Full-service airlines which currently impose a credit card surcharge include Emirates and Air France.

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